Improving Pharmaceutical Laboratory to Support Drugs and Herbal Medicine Industry

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Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Mochammad Yuwono, M.S., Apt., Professor of Faculty of Pharmacy (FF) UNAIR (Photo: UNAIR NEWS)

UNAIR NEWS – Drugs and herbal medicine quality requirements are even tighter while the fake products have not been able to stop. The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) always found fake drugs and herbal products producers and arrested them through the police force. One way to guarantee quality and to lessen the fake product distribution is by strengthening laboratory test service facility.

It was stated by Faculty of Pharmacy (FF) Universitas Airlangga Professor, Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Mochammad Yuwono, M.S., Apt. The faking production is even more modern now, as they used the latest methods and materials. Prof. Yuwono gave an example of herbal products mixed with energy drugs.

“Fake traditional medicine production is using chemicals and modern methods. Without sophisticated device, it is impossible to be notice. I’ll give an example, energy drugs are mixed in herbal medicine, if we check the content on energy drugs, it won’t be found in it. It’s negative. We’ll find the derivative or such analog compound. If we check it with usual device, it is undetectable. But it will with LC-MS/MS (Liquid Chromatography tandem Mass Spectrometry) or GCMS (Gas chromatography Mass Spectrometry). And it is even used special method,” said the professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

To conduct originality tests on drugs and herbal medicine, series of method developmental research and laboratory test are needed. But fake products tests in Indonesia face challenges. Prof. Yuwono regretted that sophisticated device is not supported with comparing materials. It is used as comparison during tests. So far, it is difficult to attain and must be imported from overseas. And we still have to wait long to order it.

Related to fake herbal medicine, the author of  “Gas Chromatography” chapter in the US published book said that the herbal medicine mixed with modern drugs not only be found in small stands but also in social media. Therefore, he suggested active involvement of monitoring agency and laboratory analysts.

“Herbal medicine mixed with modern drugs is not only found on street stands but also in online distribution. That demands inspection and monitoring. As it is massive, intensive monitoring and laboratories involvement is needed,” he added. “Furthermore, counseling to public on herbal medicine is also needed. They need to be more careful in consuming drugs and herbal medicine.”

In the future, the Director of Test Service Unit FFUNAIR  hoped to have more complete, advanced laboratory which can be used to support registration and monitoring also research development. ”Product test method developmental research  is very useful in assuring pharmaceutical quality and safety, as drug, food and cosmetic samples are even more complex. It should be developed,” he said. (*)

Author : Defrina Sukma S
Editor    : Binti Q. Masruroh

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